Cold Water Challenge Causes Problems For First Responders - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Cold Water Challenge Causes Problems For First Responders

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It's one of the latest things to hit social media, the "2014 Cold Water Challenge" but what some see as a fun stunt could have serious implications.
People have been jumping into icy bodies of water after being nominated or challenged by their friends on social media. If you don't accept the challenge, the rules say that you must donate $100 to a charity of your choice. 

Just yesterday in Minneapolis, one person doing the challenge jumped in the Mississippi river.  A passerby called 911. While the cold water challenger was warming up somewhere, responders searched the river for hours.

"You jump in the river and someone sees you...you do it for a prank or whatever, just notify us so when those calls are coming in, we don't think there is a tragedy in the making," says Fargo Police Lieutenant  Joel Vettel

Authorities in the valley haven't had to respond to the stunt yet. But they say it is a perfect example of how this fun challenge can go too far.
Minnesotans and North Dakotans may feel a special fondness for the "in your face, mother nature" flavor of the cold water challenge, but emergency officials warn participants to think it through before jumping in.
"Make sure you got a plan and make sure you understand the situation as it is, instead of just jumping in. Have full knowledge of the conditions, temperature of the water, what is underneath the water are all things that should be considered before jumping in any body of water," says Lieutenant Vettel .

Another concern is the name itself "the cold water challenge" just jumping in cold water can cause your body some harm.

"Depending on how well you adapt to the cold water you may have quite a drop in you heart rate if that happens some people could pass out," says Essentia Health Emergency Room Doctor Joe Burns.  

Dr. Burns says if you want to do the coldwater challenge; stay away from alcohol because it can affect your response time in the water.

Lieutenant Vettel asks that if you are going to jump in a body of water where someone might see you to just give police a heads-up. You can save search teams a lot of time and resources. He adds you typically won't get in trouble but will be advised to not do it again.
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